St. Patrick’s Day fun facts

  1. St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish national holiday with banks, stores, and businesses closing for the day.
  2. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was held in Boston in 1737.
  3. Shamrocks are the national flower/ emblem of Ireland.
  4. Wearing green has become a staple of St. Patrick’s Day, but the holiday was originally associated with the color blue. It’s thought that the shift to green happened because of Ireland’s nickname “The Emerald Isle,” the green in the Irish flag and the shamrock. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn as early as the 17th century.
  5. Legend says that each leaf of the clover has a meaning: Hope, Faith, Love and Luck.
  6. 1962 marked the first time Chicago dyed their river green for St Patrick’s Day.
  7. There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
  8. The real St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family.
  9. Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.
  10. The world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in an Irish village. Its route is only 100 yards, between the village’s two pubs.
  11. St. Patrick never got canonized by a pope, making his saintly status somewhat questionable.
  12. It was a dry holiday until 1970. Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day was a religious observance for the country and all pubs were shut down for the day in Ireland.